random notes: COVID-omicron

it’s been personally interesting to see how many of our initial assumptions/thoughts around pandemic recovery have turned out to be utterly useless. vaccines were supposed to deliver us the ability to develop herd immunity. fortunately, for COVID-wuhan they seem to have. but the never ending train of variants afflict those of us who’ve been vax’ing to the max. albeit to greater or lesser degrees of severity.

it’s clear that COVID-omicron is worse than a case of the sniffles for many fully vax’d folks. though not typically requiring hospitalization but you can keep getting it. so getting COVID-omicron seems to confer no immunity against COVID-omicron.

here’s a fascinating paper published in science recently. it looks at immunity to COVID-omicron across triple-vax’d folks as well as folks that have been reinfected during the COVID-omicron wave(s). i don’t grok huge swaths of this in any meaningful capacity the discussion section is where it’s at for me. but there are a few things that seem to jump out to me. none any revelatory.

  • COVID-omicron seems to be an entirely new beast, in terms of being immunity evading.
    • i learned that there’s this thing called “immunity imprinting”. great.
  • it’s not at all clear to me that the boosters have durable utility.
  • the economic impacts of COVID-* are likely going to be far worse than just the past couple of years here as folks deal with long-COVID(-*). it’s likely that we’ll be dealing with waves of flu-illness ripping through the workforce with great frequency. i don’t know what we do with that.
  • i don’t envy the folks that have to setup vax trials in an environment of ever expanding variants and sub-variants. this seems like an interesting domain of research and study all on its own.
  • finally, neal stephenson wasn’t too far off in termination shock when he was describing folks as having suffered through a menagerie of different COVID-* variants over the years between now and our geo-engineered future. we’re going to need better spices.


  • location: lanesboro, mn
  • weather: 🌦 (Light rain shower) +67°F